J. Lo and A-Rod Donate Year’s Worth of Food to Students Facing Food Insecurity in Tennessee School

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Photo Credit IG @AROD

On October 2nd, a young teacher from Jacksboro Elementary School in eastern Tennessee shared on social media her and her colleagues’ decision to start a food pantry for their students, inviting people from all across the country to donate food and hygiene products to the school as an urgent measure to reduce food insecurity within the student body. Three weeks later, the message had reached power couple J. Lo and A-Rod loud and clear. Fresh off the launch of their new frozen meal line Tiller & Hatch, Lopez and Rodriguez announced this week that they would be contributing a year’s worth of these family-friendly meals to help fill up the school’s food pantry.

“When we saw this story, it brought tears not just to my eyes, but Alex’s as well,” wrote Lopez in an Instagram post. She mentioned that the two of them are partners in Tiller & Hatch, a line of frozen pressure cooker-ready meals, and that they decided to direct resources from this newly launched venture toward those in need: The students and the school’s food pantry at Jacksboro Elementary are set to receive enough product to address food insecurity for a year.

“This is why being a business owner, and having actual ownership in companies (not licensing), is so important to me and Alex, especially as Latinos,” added Lopez. “It’s about showing our community, this is what life can be. You can take charge and take ownership. It allows us to have a say in creating things that make people’s lives better and have partners that share our passion for giving back.”

One of the biggest hurdles for Latinos who want to start a business is access to capital. Latino business owners who areable to secure the same loans as their white peers tend to accept less favorable conditions attached to these agreements, increasing their personal risk in their business venture.  And yet, Latino-owned business are growing in influence. Revenue generated by Latino-owned businesses grew at double the rate of all U.S. businesses between 2012 and 2018, according to figures cited by CNBC. Lopez and Rodriguez obviously did not face these challenges with their development of Tiller & Hatch, but they are certainly hoping to inspire the Latinx community to gain influence through business ownership.

Anyway, the couple’s largesse isn’t just a publicity stunt. Tiller & Hatch had already been developed as a company and product committed to giving back, with a portion of its sales pledged toward hunger-ending initiatives. Even the product itself was designed with working-class families in mind, costing $3 per serving and taking just over 10 minutes to prepare; the recipes feature nutritious ingredients and hormone-free meats. “This is an option we wish had been available to our families growing up,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “We are committed, like Tiller & Hatch, to doing good. This partnership offers us the opportunity to provide affordable and nutritious meals to families across America while making significant charitable contributions to shelters and food-based charities across the country.”